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Swedish hotels struggle despite strong summer

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13:46 CEST+02:00
After a difficult spring, the economic situation has improved this summer for Swedish hoteliers, but experts fear that the industry is in for a difficult autumn season.

The hotel industry took a major hit due to the recession in the spring. Business travellers, who account for 70-80 percent of the demand in major cities, were conspicuously absent. The result was a decrease in the number of sold rooms across the country by 17 percent in April and 8 percent in May.

“Sweden as a country is highly dependent on exports, and when exports decrease by so much we see a major decline in the number of business travellers,” Thomas Jakobsson, economist at the Swedish Hotel & Restaurant Association (SHR), told TT.

“The slump in April is partially due to Easter. In Gothenburg, the decline in April was a whole 23 percent and in Stockholm 17 percent. Malmö did reasonably well with a decline of 7 percent.

“The fact that Malmö hotels did so well has a great deal to do with the weak Swedish krona luring many conference and business vistors across the sound from Copenhagen,” Jakobsson said.

There was recovery in May and June was a particularly strong month. Nationally, the number of sold rooms increased by almost 4 percent in June.

The struggles of the hotel industry have led to a decrease in room prices of around 5 percent so far this year.

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